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August 2017 Subscriber Bonus

Chip Berlet - Mobilizing Resentment 

Us versus them politics, pitting one group against another, is as old as the hills. Vulnerable groups are targeted. Language is weaponized. And resentment is mobilized along race, class and gender lines. Unbridled nationalism with lots of flag waving is the soundtrack. The rise of the right in the U.S. did not occur overnight. It didn't happen because millions of people suddenly started listening to Alex Jones or reading Breitbart News. The widespread influence of right-wing ideology is not unique to this period in U.S. history. Its roots are deep and the historical trends point the way to where we are today: the right has a firm grip on many political and cultural institutions. The Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Robert Mercer and others with their deep pockets bankroll many so-called conservative organizations that promote unregulated, predatory capitalism and climate change denial.

Michael Parenti - Conspiracy & Class Power

Class and power are closely correlated, That societies have a ruling class is derided as passe Marxist rhetoric. But to deny its existence is folly. Class can be measured by one’s income and savings, and ownership of stocks, bonds and property. Power is more difficult to calibrate. It is the capacity of a ruling class to produce outcomes that enrich and enhance its status. There are many forms of power such as economic, political and military. That a ruling class acts to promote its interests by getting together and planning seems only logical. To simply dismiss these meetings as conspiracies is absurd. Power brokers and corporate elites don’t meet in dark, smoke filled back rooms or on amusement park merry-go-rounds but rather they gather in well-appointed offices with plush carpets and comfortable chairs and are served croissants and gourmet coffee.

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